The reward for sneaking into the fantasy NFL playoffs as a No. 8 seed is facing the top-seeded team, which is run by the smartest guy I know. WELP … here goes nothing!
- Playing through injuries is admirable, but Leonard Floyd’s gutting it out through injured ribs on Thanksgiving teetered on a different level:
Chuck Pagano said Leonard Floyd told him, “there’d have to be bone showing” for him to come out of the game. He suffered a rib injury in Detroit and they weren’t sure if he’d be able to return.
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) December 2, 2019
- So, it turns out that Floyd had his injured ribs checked out with x-rays during Thursday’s win against the Lions. There was even a point in which there was a belief that Floyd would not be able to return. But not only did Floyd get back into the game, he played on 82 percent of the team’s defensive snaps. And for what it’s worth, Floyd didn’t show up on Monday’s injury report. I guess all is well that ends well.
- Floyd and the Bears now turn to the Cowboys in a matchup of teams with varying degrees of postseason aspirations. Dallas is in the driver’s seat in a cruddy NFC East that apparently no one wants to win. Chicago, which has the same record as Dallas, is clinging to postseason dreams after a weekend where some things went their way, but not enough to make real noise. In fact, the Bears’ playoff probabilities *DROPPED* by a percentage point after the weekend’s games. That Rams win against the Cardinals was a kick in the shins, especially after the Bears received help from the Seahawks (who beat the Vikings), Dolphins (who knocked off the Eagles), and Washington (which defeated Carolina).
- Here is a look at the Bears’ road to making the playoffs: Beating a Dallas team that appears to be on the brink of dismissing its coach at year’s end if it doesn’t win it all, knocking off a Packers team (in Green Bay!) in a revenge game, out-dueling Patrick Mahomes in prime-time, breaking the hearts of Minnesotans (again) in their own building, and getting some help along the way in order to pass the Rams. That’s a ridiculously tall task, but we might as well go along for the ride since it’s all that’s left in the regular season.
- It all brings me back to the maddening defeats the Bears had earlier in the season. You know … the ones that – at this point of the season – are inexplicable in every way and will likely be the focal point of our conversations as to why the Bears missed the playoffs. That Chargers loss? Bleh! Coughing up a lead to the Raiders? Yuck! That isn’t even to mention games like the ones against Green Bay in Week 1, the Eagles a few weeks ago, or even that SNF snoozer against the Rams. Games in which an average offense would have been just enough to win. Thinking about it on a surface level is enough to drive me mad.
- And to think, there was a line of thinking where the Bears’ defense cratering was going to be the downfall of this team. Instead, the defense is still elite (7th in yards allowed, 4th in points, 6th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA), but the offensive regression has been the catalyst for a disastrous season.
- At some point, we’ll need to dive into GM Ryan Pace’s creation of this defense, how it differs from how he put together his team’s offense, and figure what can be learned in order to build a better offense.
- Tom Brady and Mitch Trubisky are on a list together, but it’s not for reasons you’d want them to be:
So far this season, these QBs have been the best vs. blitz according to passer rating. #Saints #RavensFlock #Skol #Seahawks #ChiefsKingdom #Titans #GoPackGo #WeAreTexans #BoltUp #RaiderNation @gregcosell | @MattBowen41 pic.twitter.com/uBJ6z7u2Pu
— NFL Matchup on ESPN (@NFLMatchup) December 2, 2019
- Cyber Monday is gone, but Amazon transitions now into its 12 Days of Deals – ’tis the season! – so check it all out here. #ad
- Tough scene, Kirk:
Kirk Cousins' teams are now 0-8 on Monday Night Football with him at quarterback. #Vikings have one more Monday Nighter left. I believe you know the opponent. With Minnesota falling to 8-4, the #Packers can lose on 12/23 but still win the NFC North if they beat WAS, CHI and DET.
— Jason Wilde (@jasonjwilde) December 3, 2019
Since 2016 the Vikings on the road are now:
0-14-1 outdoors against an opponent with a winning record
13-2 in all other road games
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) December 3, 2019
- These are always fresh:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 3, 2019
- I chuckled a little:
It's a NFC showdown on #TNF 🏈
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) December 3, 2019
- Last night, I was texting a friend that it was never too early to start poking around draft prospects. This morning, this was the first thing that was retweeted into my timeline when I opened it up:
Watching Washington C Nick Harris film – especially his work in space – has been a delightful start to today's film work. Look at him seal pursuit on this rep to allow for the big gain. #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/Z1sRIjqllp
— Joe Marino (@TheJoeMarino) December 3, 2019
- Considering the instability within the interior of the Bears’ offensive line, this is a bit on the nose.